Author's Notes: Okay. I'm very sorry for leaving it. It's been almost a year which is just ridiculous. A few notes: 'Penance for her sins' is a very talented writer who's stories I have enjoyed this past month or so, and they are, to some extent, of a similar genre to mine horror, romance, so check her out. Also, if any reviewers/readers would like me to give feedback on their stories, I would not mind doing so, just drop me a line. Finally, if it's a month till my next update: my email is on my profile, I have msn, I'm on there most days, add me and perpetually bug me till I update, kay? I seriously don't like how I keep abandoning this. Sorry for the length.

Shout-outs: hi-tanner5, DangerousMind12, atreyu love, Chaotic Romance, cartal, AubriannaKnight, SnowWolf, Anniee, Omi-sempai, basketballgirl89 (fanfiction? Have you read something of mine on there? Sorry if I should know. But do tell!), Gold from the Stars, NutCase Baka, Penance for her sins, Katherine-the-greate, and Miyoshia: Your review was the one that really pushed me to update. So big thankyou. I'm glad I inspired someone, tell me how it goes, kay?

So, thankyou to all of you reviewers. And a tiny bit extra thankyou for those of you that left more than one review or a really long one. And of course, to all of you that read and continue to do so.


Chapter Six: Unanswered.

She hadn't moved since the door had closed, now, alone in the room, Elizabeth finally began to stir. Hissing at the pain shooting through her spine, she attempted to push herself up. Her arms gave out underneath her and her body crashed back to the floor, the small shards of the mirror that had fallen to the floor with her poked into her skin through the lace chemise. The coolness of the marble floor should have soothed her, but it didn't, it annoyed her, like everything about this situation, this room. Why is this happening? Why me? Gulping in two large breathes; Elizabeth was ready to start again. She flattened her palms onto the tiled floor, began to push up from her shoulders and then…

BANG! She dropped back down and looked towards the door. It was closed. But what had made that noise? She was sure it had come from inside the room. She tried to raise herself up but the noise came again and then again, louder each time and faster. She wanted to scream. She felt like she'd explode if the banging didn't stop soon. But no, it wasn't banging. It was rattling. It was in the room. Elizabeth thought of the thing from the woods, was it one of those? Something else? Something worse? She stayed flat against the floor and looked around, she had nowhere to run to, but then again, there wasn't anything to run from, she saw nothing on the floor. Still, the noise, it was getting worse, now it sounded like howling too, and screams. It was too loud; it felt as if it were actually inside her head. She wanted to hide, she wanted it to stop.

Dragging herself along on her elbows, she made it to the bed and manoeuvred herself into the dark space underneath. She looked again, to the opposite side of the room; she'd be able to see more now. Elizabeth stayed in the centre of the shadow under the bed, and pressed her head down to the floor. She saw the bottom of one of the windows, one of the pieces of wood that had been haphazardly nailed into the surrounding wall. The sight of them had scared her, but now…they were shaking. Banged on. Something was trying to get in. The nail in the wall was slowly edging out of the wall, the stone crumbling around it and falling like dust to the ground.

It couldn't have been that thing from the forest, that…thing would have sliced its way through by now. This was something else. Elizabeth heard breathing, heavy breathing, she could almost feel it too, warm and humid against her skin. It seemed like there was something like a bull, snorting and charging at the window but at a rapid speed. It almost reminded her of old horror movies, where zombies rattled against boarded-up windows. What was she thinking? This was a horror movie! Nothing like this ever really happened. Well, not until now. She hoped it was another dream, that she'd become unconscious when she'd crashed against the mirror. That he was still in the room. She'd be safe with him wouldn't she? He'd rescued her before. But then he'd brought her here…and he'd hurt her intentionally. Elizabeth didn't know what to think, a viral epidemic, zombies, a dark underworld, rattling windows, a prince? It was too much, too much to take in. She closed her eyes tightly, pressed her hands to her ears; wanting it all to go away. It can't be real, it can't be real. Maybe if she kept repeating it, it wouldn't be.

Her head stopped throbbing, and then she realized the noise had stopped. For a moment she thought it had worked, but then she heard footsteps on the marble tiles. No, no, no, no. I'm not ready to die. She listened to the soft thudding circle the room, it didn't sound threatening, human almost. There was another noise to, a light tinkling, like chimes knocking together but only creating one note. She heard the familiar closing of the door, and the tinkling stopped by the bed. Elizabeth began to realize it must be him, that he somehow knew she was in danger. She practically sighed in relief as she opened her eyes.

There was a face level with hers at the end of the bed, leaning down to look underneath. Except it wasn't his. This face was much different. One large eye stared back at her, the pupil a murky grey, and the white was almost yellow. The eye blinked, making a squelching noise, and Elizabeth banged her head on the base of the bed as she screamed and pushed herself backwards.

"Now, Miss Elizabeth, what on earth are you doing under there?" The thing spoke gently, it addressed her. But Elizabeth couldn't stop staring at the eye that took up a third of the face, it was almost reflective. Elizabeth felt her lip tremble slightly.

"You must come out from under there, Miss Elizabeth." The voice was that of a woman, an elderly woman. It was motherly, affectionate. The eye suddenly widened slightly, "Oh, that's right, you don't have Cyclops up there do you? Where are my manners? Forgive me, Miss Elizabeth."

The girl under the bed finally managed to look away from the eye, slightly, "C-Cy-Cyclops?"

"Yes, that's what I am," the 'Cyclops' rolled her eye for extra effect, it made Elizabeth feel queasy. "Now, come along, you must be starved." The face disappeared from view and Elizabeth watched as the bottom of an aged yellow dress dragged across the floor and stopped next to something that was on wheels.

It didn't seem dangerous, awful to look at, but not dangerous. Elizabeth decided that she wasn't in any real danger from it and came out from under the bed the way she had gone underneath. She stayed on her knees for a while, peering over to see what the Cyclops was doing. It was standing in front of a small silver table, the thing that Elizabeth had seen on casters, she could hear the tinkling noise again – cutlery. The smell hit her suddenly, she couldn't place it, she'd not smelt anything like it before, but whatever it was - it was divine, mouth-watering. The pain in her back had numbed slightly, and so she pushed herself up using the bed to lean on.

The Cyclops moved the table towards the bed, turning slightly to face Elizabeth, smiled and patted the edge of the bed. Elizabeth warily moved towards her, but the smell, she couldn't tear herself away. She felt like she hadn't eaten in days, then again, for all she knew, she probably hadn't. Her stomach growled and she squeezed pass the Cyclops and sat on the edge of the bed. The entire thing before her was silver, the table, the tray, the cutlery, even the cup and bottle. The silver dome was removed and the smell rushed up to Elizabeth's nostrils, almost awakening every sense as it went.

Steam was rising from, what Elizabeth took to be as some sort of broth, it was a rich brown, thick and creamy. There were chunks of meat, they looked tender and slightly cracked, like they had been on raw flames. She picked up the largest spoon, ploughed it in, and was just about to bring it her lips when: "What is it?"

The Cyclops seemed shocked, like she had been in a daze and Elizabeth's words had woken her, "Don't worry, Miss Elizabeth, His Majesty told me specifically not to give you human."

"What?" She almost dropped the spoon and kicked the table away.

"Eat, Miss Elizabeth, you need to." She smiled reassuringly.

Elizabeth felt herself bring the spoon back up, inspecting the meat, "But what is it?"

A sigh was her response, "If you don't want it…" The Cyclops made a move towards the tray.

"No! …No." It smelt too good, it looked too good. She couldn't help herself. She dove into it, not bothering to close her mouth, filling it back up when she was still chewing her last mouthful. She was ravenous. Halfway through she threw the spoon down onto the tray, picked the bowl up and proceeded to gulp it down. When she rested the bowl back down, she saw that the Cyclops had moved closer and was pouring a deep purple liquid from the bottle into the silver cup. The Cyclops then held the cup up to Elizabeth.

Elizabeth grabbed the cup with both hands and began to drink, more demurely than she had done the broth. She sipped, savouring the sour fruitiness, and kept it close to her mouth, peering over it to watch the Cyclops tidy the tray away, moving it towards the door. She began to wonder who else was here, how big 'here' actually was.

The windows started rattling again; there was no build up this time. Elizabeth dropped the cup in shock, held her hands over her ears; it felt like they were bleeding. And then, just as suddenly as it had begun, it finished. She looked at the Cyclops, who was picking up some fabrics that were on a shelf on the table, underneath. She didn't seem affected, she didn't seem like she had even heard it. I can't be imagining it, can I? Elizabeth looked towards the windows, she hadn't imagined it, there was still crumbling dust around some of the nails.

"What just happened? Why does it do that?"

The Cyclops began to walk towards her, carrying the fabrics, "It's nothing, Miss Elizabeth."

"But those noises" she physically shuddered at the memory of the breathing and screams from seconds ago. "It's awful."

"It's nothing you need to concern yourself with, Miss Elizabeth." The girl couldn't help but feel like she was being kept in the dark; the elderly Cyclops voice seemed different now, monotonous, like she was reading from an autocue. And why was she being so dismiss about it? It couldn't really be nothing could it? Something had to be making that noise, causing the screams and the windows to shake so violently. "Now, something much more important, even though it's already been decided and arranged, I'd still like to know your opinion." Her voice had gone back to normal, cheery, motherly.

She held out a small selection of the fabrics, they were all a foot square and mostly light in colour. There were two whites, one silk and one lace, an ivory silk with silver beading, a light blue silk, and then, the one that really caught Elizabeth's eye was a deep red, etched with black stitches that seemed to glitter like oil. She reached out to touch it, "What for?"

"Why, for your bridal gown, Miss Elizabeth."

Her hand dropped, and suddenly the allure of the macabre red silk disappeared, she felt frozen.

The Cyclops voice was shaky, apprehensive, "His Majesty…he did tell you about this?"

Elizabeth nodded, "Yes, he did." The Cyclops sighed in relief, and turned back to the fabrics, smoothing their creases, removing anything that shouldn't be there. "But I'm not marrying him."

Her eye widened, she turned to face the girl she sat beside on the bed, "What?"

Unconsciously, Elizabeth began to fold her arms, "I'm not marrying him."

"But…Miss Elizabeth," she nodded, as if unsure of what to say, she reached into the pocket of her apron and pulled out a handkerchief, and hurriedly began to dab at some blood on the girl's temple. "I'm sure you just need to rest, from what I've heard you've had a very traumatic time."

Traumatic? She couldn't stop the heat rising to her face, the anger bubbling under the surface. Everything she had known had been ripped away from her, everyone she had loved. Traumatic didn't even begin to describe.

The Cyclops was still talking, "But all is not lost, Miss Elizabeth! You have His Majesty now, and what a very fine couple you make too!"

Elizabeth pushed out, almost jumping from the bed, she couldn't help it. Fury burned through her. "I'm not marrying him!"

The Cyclops stood up and slowly stepped towards the girl, her arms reaching out, "Please, Miss Elizabeth, calm down."

"Why?! Why does everyone here want me to calm down?! First him and now you." She backed away slightly, rubbed at her eyes, she did not want to cry, she couldn't. "My family is dead!" She sank to the floor; she was almost in the corner. "Everyone I loved, everything I had known – gone."

"Miss Elizabeth," her voice was strained, she moved closer.

"And you all want me to calm down?" she shook her head. "And, marry that-" man, prince, creature, "monster?!"

The Cyclops stopped, caught off guard, she had gasped, she stuffed the handkerchief back into the pocket of her apron and began to fiddle with a loose piece of string. "Yes…well…" She turned towards the door, flustered, hurrying out of the room, taking the tray and its contents clanking with her.

Elizabeth, alone again, brought her knees to her chest and cried into them.


Author's Notes: Well, longer than I'd anticipated. I'm feeling a bit 'Beauty & The Beast' all of a sudden, girl-in-a castle-against-her-will type thing. Anyway, I couldn't think for the life of me what that serving dome thing is, if anyone knows – it'll be well appreciated, and I'll change it immediately. Feedback on the Cyclops (I apologize for how repetitive it got towards the end – it'll be better when she has name) would be nice. If you'd like more in-depth character descriptions straight away, or, if you're okay with me expanding it over time sort of thing, let me know. Speaking of names, I already have one in mind for The Prince, but if anyone has any suggestions let me know.

-Peace Out, The Author.